In the coming chapters, we will consider the seven skills necessary for an educator to be effective.
These seven skills develop both logically and chronologically. They proceed from the general and abstract to the specific and concrete. They outline a sequence by which the heartfelt intention to educate and assist another can take form in effective, growth-promoting action, enabling one to positively influence all the relationships of one’s life.
Each of the skills correspond to the sefirot–the “spheres” or channels of Divine energy with which God created the world. According to Kabbalah, these sefirot permeate, and are manifested within, every aspect of creation, including, of course, the human soul which was created in the image of God. It is important to keep the functioning of the sefirot in mind–particularly as they manifest within the powers of the soul–when relating to one’s students. If the teacher tries to change more than one character trait in his students at a time (thus blocking a number of channels at once), he can create an explosion of pent up energy which at best, will undermine his success, and at worse, will cause real psychological damage.
Finally, it cannot be stressed enough that the skills discussed here are only acquired through practice, and a teacher’s progress will directly mirror the time he invests in the effort. This is the necessary and sufficient requirement of integration on the part of the educator.